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Cover thoughts - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Cover thoughts
All right, the order of the day seems to be commenting on the covers that have been released. (Mugglenet has them linked, for the one-point-five people on my f-list who haven't seen them yet.)


On the GrandPre version, yes, of course that's a Pensieve. I don't care what it's standing on. It fits the description of Dumbledore's Pensieve exactly, and Dumbledore is standing there with Harry looking into it. It's a Pensieve. So?

So I think we're going to be going a lot more heavily into the past, if that's a cover image, or going in in a much more prominent way. That would fit with JK's statements about how we're going to get all the back story we could want before the end. The sixth book would be a good time for that, since the seventh will be racing toward the confrontation, and wouldn't be an exemplary time to be catching up on exposition. So what will we see in the past?

Well, the green on the cover, while it might not mean anything all, is the kind of bilious, unhealthy green light that I'd associate with the Death Curse. While I don't know if we'll see it in the Pensieve (it's an interpretive picture, probably), I think this indicates that we're going to see the deaths of the Potters. In fact, I think that the murders are going to be the opening scene that JK has said she has thought about putting in various books before but couldn't find a place for. If this book deals with the past, then opening with a flashback would explain why it would suddenly fit.

I don't think the Advanced Potions textbook on the U.K. adult cover means anything except that Harry's taking advanced potions, probably much to his annoyance. It probably will feature prominently--given the interest fans have in Snape, I doubt JKR would sideline him at this point--but as to theories of Snape being the HBP... well, while it doesn't mitigate against it, it also doesn't particularly support the theory, either. I'd say Snape's in about the same running he was before. A possibility, neither strong nor weak, just out there.

Any clues on the HBP? I don't think so. Dumbledore is the best guess, since he figures prominently in the two covers that show characters--this suggesting that this is going to be a heavily Dumbledore-centric book--but in both cases, he just looks like he's guiding Harry. If he is the HBP, maybe the leonine man described in the passage that appeared on jkr.com is young Dumbledore?

What else?

Well, Harry was pretty upset over what he saw in the Pensieve in Snape's memory--hopefully, the Pensieve this time will be used to show him his parents in the light of the memories of the rest of the characters. Maybe over the summer, they've put a little montage together for him (possibly with a folk music soundtrack, or maybe Barry Manilow), and Dumbledore will take him through it.

More likely, we'll get Voldemort-related flashbacks; it seems to me that Harry will have to understand what's going on better, and if Dumbledore (rather than Lupin) is the guide, it suggests that the history aspect isn't just going to deal with Harry's personal history.

The U.K. children's cover shows Dumbledore and Harry surrounded by ropes of fire. Again, it stresses the Harry-Dumbledore relationship. In this case, it seems to show them going into danger together.

Er, well... I've been saying this for awhile, but Dumbledore's the Wise Mentor of the series. Wise Mentors, by story necessity, must be taken away from the hero before the final confrontation. There's been a lot of talk since CoS about how Dumbledore never really leaves the people who believe in him, so a complete exit would require Harry to discover the power of his love for Dumbledore in finding that strength within himself. It seems to fit on a lot of levels, and it's definitely suggested by that particular cover.

I wish we had the back cover of the GrandPre version. That would probably show other characters in the levels of prominence, and we'd be able to speculate better.

But I think that's all I can suss out of these.

Tags: ,
I feel a bit...: thoughtful speculative

28 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
prettyveela From: prettyveela Date: March 8th, 2005 08:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad that Dumbledore is back in the spotlight in this book because to be honest, I was very annoyed with him in OotP. I think he and Harry are going to team up(I don't know for what or how) but by Dumbledore being on the American and UK cover shows how very important he is to this book.

I'm pretty sure it's Harry book, but what if it isn't Harry's advanced potions book? What if it's Snape's old book? It does look old and tattered.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 8th, 2005 08:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
What if it's Voldemort's? Tom wouldn't have had a whole lot of money, either.
prettyveela From: prettyveela Date: March 8th, 2005 08:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good point. The book could be a link to Tom Riddle and somehow, Harry and Dumbledore find it? Hmmmmmm.
fiatincantatum From: fiatincantatum Date: March 8th, 2005 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe it's Ron's book?
chicleeblair From: chicleeblair Date: March 9th, 2005 01:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I doubt Ron's in Advance Potions. He didn't seem to have a reason to want to be, and thus probably didn't try that hard on his OWLs
sannalim From: sannalim Date: March 8th, 2005 08:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad to see that Harry and Dumbledore are working together on the covers, and that, furthermore, they seem to be doing so fairly amicably. I know JKR has already said that Harry's going to get over himself somewhat in this next book; I hope that this means that Dumbledore has realized that he can't treat Harry like a child and leave him out of the loop any longer.
wychwood From: wychwood Date: March 8th, 2005 08:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
As part of the 1.5 people, I thank you :)

The covers are quite interesting... Is it just me, or does Dumbledore suddenly look a lot more like Michael Gambon that he used to? On the UK childrens' cover, especially.
missfahrenheit From: missfahrenheit Date: March 12th, 2005 05:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
UK children's covers are erratic and inconsistent- there's been a different artist for each one!
reetchick From: reetchick Date: March 8th, 2005 08:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for speculating - you were one of the people I'd hoped would toss out your $0.02.

My first thought upon seeing both children's versions was "oh, yeah, Dumbledore's toast."

I called my mother and had her hop online to take a look at it. She thought it was interesting; I told her some of what I'd read regarding the Scholastic pic (that some folk are hypothesizing it's a cauldron.)

I could hear her frowning - she said "Oh, no, there's no way that's a cauldron. It looks more like a birdbath than it does a cauldron."

I didn't tell her that saying such things is how evil plot bunnies are born...

*g*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 8th, 2005 08:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh! Why didn't I think of that? It's a phoenix birdbath, meant for Harry to try and attract his own immortal avian protector! :p
elinevere From: elinevere Date: March 8th, 2005 09:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hee! *chokes on yoghurt*

You know, I'm certain there's a bad!fic out there with that premise (well, with the mystic kettle of Narkedirk instead of a phoenix birdbath...;D )!!
murgatroyd314 From: murgatroyd314 Date: March 9th, 2005 01:43 am (UTC) (Link)
That's it! That's what the US cover shows! It's the Mystic Kettle of Nackledirk, sitting atop the Pillar of Storgé!

(I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that vessel is entirely the wrong shape to be a kettle. Well, that's why it's a mystic kettle.)
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: March 8th, 2005 09:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
It suddenly occurs to me that if that's a Pensieve, it may be a matter of some concern that it has cracks in it.
mafdet From: mafdet Date: March 8th, 2005 09:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I believe that what we see on the cover is Dumbledore and Harry standing over a Pensieve. And since Dumbly's about a hundred and fifty years old, there are going to be LOTS of memories in that Pensieve. My speculation is that some of those memories are going to be of the young Tom Riddle, and others of Harry's parents and perhaps Neville's, too.

The "lion-like" man I believe will be another Pensieve memory, perhaps young Dumbledore as you said, or maybe even a younger Godric Gryffindor, though how he would be seen in the Pensieve I do not know. Perhaps Fawkes, the phoenix, can put his memories in the Pensieve and he remembers Godric?

The battered old potions book may have belonged to Tom Riddle, or perhaps it's Snape's old book. Whatever, I believe we are going to have lots of emphasis on Potions in HBP, and Snapeykins is NOT going to be thrilled to have the Potter brat in his advanced Potions class.
From: falco_999 Date: March 8th, 2005 09:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think the UK version shows Dumbledore's last (literal - let's not go into symbolism!) rescue of Harry. In the five previous books, Dumbledore has in some manner saved Harry's life or got him out of a bad situation. As has been said, many many many many times, Harry will at some point have to face Voldemort without a Wise Old Mentor - or, for that matter, a Deus Ex Machina - intervening.

I like the idea that the potion book belonged to Tom Riddle. My first thought when I saw the pensieve was that it contains a flashback to the Riddle generation. After all, JKR has emphasised the past relationship of TMR and Dumbledore - in CoS, of course, and she practically knocked us over the head with it in the DoM scenes. First, Harry reminds Bellatrix (and us) of Riddle's heritage, then the rather mysterious exchange between "Tom" and DD.

And my resolution to leave the fandom really has been slipping recently. *is ashamed of feeble will-power* Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, FernWithy.
genesse From: genesse Date: March 8th, 2005 09:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
...maybe the leonine man described in the passage that appeared on jkr.com is young Dumbledore?

I think you're right about this, and not just because that's what I thought when I first read about the red haired guy. It makes more sense knowing that Harry's looking in Dumbledore's pensieve with Dumbledore standing next to him. And I'm almostpositive that they're looking at Dumbledore's memories of either his defeat of Grindelwald or Tom Riddle, but earlier than the memory Riddle showed Harry in CoS.
leelastarsky From: leelastarsky Date: March 8th, 2005 11:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think so. He was described as having grey-streaked 'tawny hair', which to me is a sort of light brown. JK described young Dumbledore in CoS as having auburn hair.
delleve From: delleve Date: March 8th, 2005 11:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
*hides* Ikindadon'tthinkit'saPensieve. I think this mainly because if you look at how Ms. Grand Pre interprets the Pensieve (Snape's Worst Memory chapter picture), there really isn't any resemblence between it and the cover.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 8th, 2005 11:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
It looks almost exactly like the one shown in GoF, though, and is exactly as it's described--a round, shallow basin with runes around the rim. The only difference is that the one in GoF looks a bit less shallow, but that's probably just an evolution of thinking. And actually, looking at the OotP one, it looks the same to me, too. It's just not cracked and less shallow--could be someone else's Pensieve, but it's definitely a Pensieve.
rosefyre From: rosefyre Date: March 9th, 2005 02:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Hi, just wanted to stop by and say I'm friending you, because you've always got the most interesting discussions going on on your journal. Thought it was polite to let you know. *grins* *waves*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 9th, 2005 02:49 am (UTC) (Link)
*waves back* Welcome.
From: isabela113 Date: March 9th, 2005 03:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Interesting theories. I'm sort of intrigued by the UK children's cover. Something in me would find it satisfying to see Harry and Dumbledore fighting side by side. It is a definite possibility, since we know that Harry has to go on to face Voldemort alone. If you buy into the Dumbledore-must-die theory, this could be a very interesting image indeed.
From: laizeohbeets Date: March 9th, 2005 04:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Finally! Some thoughts on the covers that aren't, "OMG SNAPE IS DA HBP!!!DRACO AND HARRY ARE DOING POTIONS TOGETHER THEYARESOINLOVE!!!111!!! IT'S A POTIONMAKING CAULDRON!!!"

Seriously, the whacked out theories people come up with!

I totally think it's a pensieve. You brew potions in cauldrons, and that, good lady, is not a cauldron.
awaywithpixie From: awaywithpixie Date: March 9th, 2005 09:32 am (UTC) (Link)
In the three seconds I was allowed to look at these pics before work this morning, my first three thoughts were:

(UK Children's cover) - Johnny Cash - I fell into a burning ring of fire...
(UK Adults's Cover) - So Harry's not getting out of potions.
(USA Cover) - Argh! Epileptic green fit cover.

I really do not like Mary Grand Pre's artwork. It's probably got everything to do with the fact I never once saw her covers until after I had read GOF and then joined fandom. The English covers were firmly embedded in my mind.
katchuri From: katchuri Date: March 9th, 2005 01:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's gone all around the UK in the media today that Harry and Dumbledore are on the cover holding "fire sticks".
Idiots.
You'd think they hadn't bothered to read the books.
They're so clearly wands.
spiffariffic From: spiffariffic Date: March 9th, 2005 07:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Definitely a Pensieve, yes. Didn't JKR say we'd be learning something important about Lily? Maybe Dumbledore shows Harry some memories of her. I'm still hoping we'll meet one of her old friends, though; we're long overdue for that.

I was a little disappointed to see the Advanced Potions book, as I was hoping Harry wouldn't get in. I didn't want him to be an Auror. I'm not sure why. Maybe because that's what nearly everyone (in the fandom and the wizarding world) seems to expect of him.
spiffariffic From: spiffariffic Date: March 9th, 2005 07:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and I also wish we had the back covers. The American versions tend to have so many clues on them, and I was surprised to see so little on the front cover. It's interesting that the American and British versions are so similar, though. The OotP ones were completely different.
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: March 12th, 2005 02:05 am (UTC) (Link)
I think I'd rather like to see him have the option to be an Auror and find something he sees as more worth doing.

Not that I'd particularly mind him being an Auror. I just think that could be rather nice.
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